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Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is 100% effective in children ages 12 to 15

Will Pfizer’s vaccine be approved for emergency use?

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Will Pfizer’s vaccine be approved for emergency use?

Aiysha Souba, a nurse with the Salt Lake County Health Department, prepares to administer a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine during a vaccination event at the Khadeeja Islamic Center and Mosque in West Valley City on Friday, March 26, 2021.

Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

Pfizer and BioNTech had a pretty encouraging announcement Tuesday morning — the developers’ COVID-19 vaccine is 100% effective in children 12 to 15 years old.

What Pfizer found for its vaccine in children

Pfizer announced the results of a new study that found there were no cases of COVID-19 among fully vaccinated adolescents compared to those who received fake shots.

  • The study included 2,260 U.S. children from 12 to 15 years old, who all volunteered for the projects.
  • In all, 2,242 of the volunteers did not show any COVID-19 symptoms after getting both shots. The only ones who did were 18-year-olds who got dummy shots, according to The Associated Press.

Researchers said in the study that the Pfizer vaccine “revved up the kids’ immune systems,” the AP reports. The researchers added that there were “high levels of virus-fighting antibodies, somewhat higher than were seen in studies of young adults,” according to the AP.

Children had side effects similar to young adults, though, including pain, fever, chills and fatigue mainly after the second dose.

What a COVID-19 vaccine might mean for children

Dr. Philip J. Landrigan, of Boston College, told the AP that this is good news for children.

  • “It’s hard to get kids to comply with masking and distancing, so something that gives them hard protection and takes them out of the mix of spreading the virus is all for the good,” said Landrigan.

What’s next for Pfizer’s vaccine and children?

Albert Bourla, chairman and chief executive officer of Pfizer, said in a statement that the company plans to submit the COVID-19 vaccine results to the Food and Drug Administration, hoping the agency will add an amendment to its emergency use authorization so that children can get the vaccine.

  • “We share the urgency to expand the authorization of our vaccine to use in younger populations and are encouraged by the clinical trial data from adolescents between the ages of 12 and 15,” Bourla said. “We plan to submit these data to FDA as a proposed amendment to our Emergency Use Authorization in the coming weeks and to other regulators around the world, with the hope of starting to vaccinate this age group before the start of the next school year.”

When will children be vaccinated?

In February, Dr. Anthony Fauci said children can likely get the COVID-19 vaccine before the end of summer, as I wrote for the Deseret News.

  • “Hopefully by the time we get to the late spring and early summer we will have children being able to be vaccinated,” Fauci said, according to the AP.